Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Williamson, J. L., & Witt, C. C. (2021). Elevational niche-shift migration: Why the degree of elevational change matters for the ecology, evolution, and physiology of migratory birds. Ornithology, 138(2). doi:10.1093/ornithology/ukaa087 https://doi.org/10.1093/ornithology/ukaa087

Elevational migration can be defined as roundtrip seasonal movement that involves upward and downward shifts in elevation. These shifts incur physiological challenges that are proportional to the degree of elevational change. Larger shifts in elevation correspond to larger shifts in partial pressure…

Li, X., Li, B., Wang, G., Zhan, X., & Holyoak, M. (2020). Deeply digging the interaction effect in multiple linear regressions using a fractional-power interaction term. MethodsX, 7, 101067. doi:10.1016/j.mex.2020.101067 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2020.101067

In multiple regression Y ~ β0 + β1X1 + β2X2 + β3X1 X2 + ɛ., the interaction term is quantified as the product of X1 and X2. We developed fractional-power interaction regression (FPIR), using βX1M X2N as the interaction term. The rationale of FPIR is that the slopes of Y-X1 regression along the X2 gr…

Cardador, L., & Blackburn, T. M. (2020). A global assessment of human influence on niche shifts and risk predictions of bird invasions. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.13166 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13166

Aim: Estimating the strength of niche conservatism is key for predictions of invasion risk. Most studies consider only the climatic niche, but other factors, such as human disturbance, also shape niches. Whether occupation of human habitats in the alien range depends on the native tolerances of spec…

Rotenberry, J. T., & Balasubramaniam, P. (2020). Connecting species’ geographical distributions to environmental variables: range maps versus observed points of occurrence. Ecography. doi:10.1111/ecog.04871 https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.04871

Connecting the geographical occurrence of a species with underlying environmental variables is fundamental for many analyses of life history evolution and for modeling species distributions for both basic and practical ends. However, raw distributional information comes principally in two forms: poi…

Ringelberg, J. J., Zimmermann, N. E., Weeks, A., Lavin, M., & Hughes, C. E. (2020). Biomes as evolutionary arenas: Convergence and conservatism in the trans‐continental succulent biome. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.13089 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13089

Aim: Historically, biomes have been defined based on their structurally and functionally similar vegetation, but there is debate about whether these similarities are superficial, and about how biomes are defined and mapped. We propose that combined assessment of evolutionary convergence of plant fun…

Léveillé-Bourret, É., Chen, B.-H., Garon-Labrecque, M.-È., Ford, B. A., & Starr, J. R. (2019). RAD sequencing resolves the phylogeny, taxonomy and biogeography of Trichophoreae despite a rapid recent radiation (Cyperaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 106727. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2019.106727 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2019.106727

Trichophoreae is a nearly cosmopolitan Cyperaceae tribe that contains ∼17 species displaying striking variation in size, inflorescence complexity, and perianth morphology. Although morphologically distinct, the status of its three genera (Cypringlea, Oreobolopsis and Trichophorum) are controversial …

Nevado, B., Wong, E. L. Y., Osborne, O. G., & Filatov, D. A. (2019). Adaptive Evolution Is Common in Rapid Evolutionary Radiations. Current Biology. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2019.07.059 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.07.059

One of the most long-standing and important mysteries in evolutionary biology is why biological diversity is so unevenly distributed across space and taxonomic lineages. Nowhere is this disparity more evident than in the multitude of rapid evolutionary radiations found on oceanic islands and mountai…

Han, T., Zheng, Q., Onstein, R. E., Rojas‐Andrés, B. M., Hauenschild, F., Muellner‐Riehl, A. N., & Xing, Y. (2019). Polyploidy promotes species diversification of Allium through ecological shifts. New Phytologist. doi:10.1111/nph.16098 https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.16098

Despite the role of polyploidy in multiple evolutionary processes, its impact on plant diversification remains controversial. An increased polyploid frequency may facilitate speciation through shifts in ecology, morphology, or both. Here we used Allium to evaluate (1) the relationship between intras…

Freeman, B., Sunnarborg, J., & Peterson, A. T. (2019). Effects of climate change on the distributional potential of three range-restricted West African bird species. The Condor, 121(2). doi:10.1093/condor/duz012 https://doi.org/10.1093/condor/duz012

A detailed understanding of species’ responses to global climate change provides an informative baseline for designing conservation strategies to optimize protection of biodiversity. However, such information is either limited or not available for many tropical species, making it difficult to incorp…

Karger, D. N., Kessler, M., Conrad, O., Weigelt, P., Kreft, H., König, C., & Zimmermann, N. E. (2019). Why tree lines are lower on islands-Climatic and biogeographic effects hold the answer. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.12897 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12897

Aim: To determine the global position of tree line isotherms, compare it with observed local tree limits on islands and mainlands, and disentangle the potential drivers of a difference between tree line and local tree limit. Location: Global. Time period: 1979–2013. Major taxa studied: Trees. Method…